What is garlic seed?
The garlic seed is simply each individual clove of garlic which is how the plant reproduces. Each clove will form a bulb of garlic by the end of the growing season. The cloves of garlic form in the last few months and if this doesn’t happen then it may mean the cloves haven’t been planted for long enough.
Where do I get the seed from?
The most important thing when selecting garlic seed is to make sure it is certified organic or from a chemical free farm or garden. If you have a local seedsavers group this would be a good place to start. Otherwise you can purchase Certified Organic seed from your local Farmers market or an Organic seed supplier. Just google Certified Organic Garlic seed. Once you started growing garlic like we have for the last few years, you can grow enough to eat and some to save for next year.
How much garlic should I plant?
If you love eating garlic I’d say plant about 80 cloves, that way you’ll have enough for about 1 bulb per week and the rest you can save for seed.
How do I plant garlic?
You’ll notice there are two distinct ends to the garlic, the top end is pointed which is where it will shoot from and bottom end is where the roots will appear from.
After planting the cloves what can I mulch with?
Mulching Hay is usually available from your local produce shop or nursery. Ensure that the hay is from a chemical free farm, so just ask a few questions?
Does it come from a farm that use roundup or other chemicals?
Does the hay come from a farm that use artificial chemical fertilisers?
It’s best not to mulch with sugarcane mulch as this can form a mat over the ground and the water won’t be able to penetrate the mulch layer. That’s why using a larger size mulch is better, so the water can penetrate through to the soil.
On a small home garden scale, harvesting is done by hand. When about 2 or 3 leaves have died of and turned yellow this normally means it’s time to harvest your garlic. This can be done in rain or shine.
Once you have lifted the garlic you need to hang this up in a dry airy place like a shed but just ensure this is away from any chemicals.
After giving a Garden Advisory to a couple of my clients on growing garlic, they made a video of themselves planting 2000 garlic seeds in Pacific Palms over a weekend , no dig style! That’s what I love about my job is passing on the information that I’ve learnt over the last 25 years and seeing people take it to new heights!
Click here to watch their story.
If you’d like to learn how to grow your own veggies using tried and tested methods that give you an abundance of produce, then visit our website www.gardentotable.com.au for our latest courses.
Until next time,
Chief Garlic Planter at Garden to Table Permaculture